Social and Recreational Options - Fact Sheet
One of the most frustrating aspects of a brain
injury is that it can leave you at home with little social contact,
support, activity - all the things that make life worthwhile.
The following are suggestions for getting more out of life
following an a
a traumatic brain injury, stroke or other type of brain
Even if you are very motivated however, it is suggested that you
check with your rehabilitation specialists or family to get a
realistic idea of your capabilities and limitations at this stage
of your recovery. A common problem after an acquired brain injury
is feeling you have recovered more than you actually have. These
options are for Queensland residents. Contact the Brain Injury
Association in your area for local information.
SPORT AND RECREATION
TAFE colleges run Adult Education Courses which cover a wide
range of activities such as art and crafts, boating, job skills,
computers, cooking, languages, relaxation, interior decoration,
photography, sports and creative writing. The courses are very
reasonably priced and details can be obtained by ringing your local
TAFE college or from www.tafe.qld.gov.au.
The Sporting Wheelies & Disabled Association have a wide
range of recreational activities such as abseiling, camping, hot
air ballooning, snow skiing and sailing, in regional centres
throughout Queensland. The sport side of things includes athletics,
wheelchair basketball, powerlifting, cycling, golf, swimming, lawn
bowls, marathons, watersport, wheelchair rugby, shooting and
tennis. A personal gym program can be devised in the gym at Bowen
Hills in Brisbane, or your local gym. The Adult Recreation Program
involves monthly activities such as camping, theatre, holidays and
away. For further information ring 07 3253 3333, email firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit www.sportingwheelies.org.au.
As with many areas of Acquired Brain Injury, there are scarce
resources and often other services may need to be used. People with
a severe brain injury may be able to access recreational services
set up for people with an intellectual disability but its
suitability should first be investigated. Two organisations that
are worth contacting are LifeStream on 07 3891 5466 and the
Endeavour Foundation on 07 3874 1000.
Another valuable resource is your local Council. Councils run
many community programs and usually maintain a database, accessible
on the Internet or by phoning the Council chambers, of programs run
by other organisations. If you don't know the contact details for
your local Council, or if you aren't sure what your Council is,
there is a Local Government Directory for Queensland at www.lgp.qld.gov.au/applications/lgDirectory/.
For many, work is an integral part of self esteem and being
unable to work can be a contributing factor to the depression that
is common after a brain injury. Volunteering Queensland have a wide
range of volunteer work available which can be an excellent way to
develop confidence again and prepare for a return to work in the
future. You can make enquiries by ringing 3002 7600 or check out
their website at www.volunteeringqueensland.org.au.
Another website for volunteer work throughout Australia can be
viewed at www.govolunteer.com.au.
For some, studying during their recovery may be very
constructive. This can be particularly useful if you won't be able
to return to your previous occupation after an acquired brain
injury. Once again, you will need an accurate assessment of your
abilities to make sure you can cope with the cognitive demands of
study. Most educational institutions should have a Disabilities
Officer who can help provide you with support through your course.
Being realistic about study may mean entering at a certificate
level and only doing one or two subjects a semester.
There are also organisations funded by the Department of
Employment and Training to offer free courses to people with a
disability who are on a Disability Support Pension or who can get a
letter of referral from a service provider. A list of funded
organisations state-wide (including TAFE colleges) is available on
the Department website at
You can also follow the links to Jobs & Careers > Job and
career planning > Pathways for young people with a
An unfortunate aspect of acquired brain injury may be that you
find old friends are lost and you need to make new ones when you
may feel least able to.
There are a few support groups in Queensland for people with an
acquired brain injury and there is room for many more. These groups
are an ideal situation to meet up with others who know how much an
acquired brain injury can affect your life. Contact BIAQ to see if
there is a group in your area and if there isn't, think about the
possibility of starting one in your area as BIAQ is able to provide
resources to get you started.
The Acquired Brain Injury Outreach Service (ABIOS) of Queensland
Health coordinates an information and skills program called Skills
To Enable People and CommunitieS (STEPS). There are STEPS groups
around the state, each one run for six weeks by a volunteer
coordinator from that area who is provided with training and
support by ABIOS. The groups help people with a brain injury to
learn self-management, social and community access skills. The
coordinators can be family members, people with a brain injury who
want to help others, members of the community or staff from service
providers. To find out about groups or leadership training
opportunities in your area call ABIOS on 1300 727 403 or send an
email to STEPS@health.qld.gov.au.
There is also an organisation called Self-Help Queensland which
acts as a referral point for self-help and support groups around
the state and which provides assistance to people who wish to
establish new groups. They can be contacted at www.selfhelpqld.org.au ,
on 07 3344 6919 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
The Friendship Program has been set up by Disability Services
Queensland to provide opportunities for people between 18 and 65
with a disability to form friendships with others. This is done by
encouraging friendship support through services and community
groups and by individual support strategies. Friendship Program
Coordinators offer information and training sessions, printed
resources, a mentoring role and telephone support. They are located
- Gold Coast
- Pine Rivers/Redcliffe
Enquiries can be made on 1300 303 623 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Friendship Program has a page on the DSQ website at www.disability.qld.gov.au/suppserv/dsq/fp.cfm.
If you can't find a group in your local area but you know your
way around a computer you can link up with others around the world
and share experiences over the internet. A good example is the
website at www.braininjurychat.org
which has chat rooms, message boards, personal stories, free email
accounts and picture galleries.
In Australia there is an online community at
mc2.vicnet.net.au/home/abiyouth/index.html for young adults with a
brain injury, run by an Occupational Therapist who has had a
Within Queensland, Ken Aitken has formed the Brain Injury
Survivor Network which sends email newsletters to a growing number
of people with an acquired brain injury. He can be contacted on email@example.com
or through his website at www.braininjury-survivors.org.
The Brain Injury Association of QLD can provide a more complete
idea of any services available in your local area, on 07 3367 1049
within Brisbane or 1880 673 074.